White walls. Bright lights. Warm blankets. Soft beds.
Roselyn shifted slightly under the hospital sheets, slowly orienting herself to the new environment. A sudden headache overwhelmed her, and she found herself completely exhausted. Looking to the side, she saw Kaelin waking up, only to be struck by the same surge of pain.
“One hell of a dream to leave on hell of a headache,” Kaelin said, staring up at the ceiling.
“If it was a dream, then we wouldn’t be here right now.”
“Who knows? How can we be sure that the life we live at this moment isn’t a dream and the dreams we dream at night aren’t what we live?”
Both girls fell silent, acknowledging the solemn atmosphere. They were grateful when Azura mumbled something from under her pillow, providing some needed comic relief.
“What was that?” Kaelin asked with a slight smirk.
After finally freeing her head from its soft, fluffy shelter, the young blonde finally spoke clearly. “I said that you can’t. We will never be sure that our dreams and reality don’t get mixed up, but we live through them anyway.”
Just as Kaelin was preparing to make a witty remark, a young man walked into the room and grinned. “As soon as I heard voices, I knew you three had woken up.” The girls’ confused looks told him that he had some explaining to do. “You’ve been asleep for about three days now. It was a little unnerving when we discovered that the daughters of our three most important officers had fallen into a coma. Luckily, they couldn’t find anything wrong with you three, so that’s why you’ve been moved into this holding room.” The young man glanced at Roselyn and tensed a bit. “Ms. Bretta, your father was the one who issued the order to have you three moved. He also said that you were to leave immediately after waking up. I’m sorry, but you all must leave now without escort by the order of Commander Bretta. Please take care of yourselves.” The man left the room almost as quickly as he had entered.
After a moment, Azura spoke. “Do you guys remember anything that happened?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Kaelin muttered.
Roselyn stood and smoothed her raven-black hair. “It's strange. Broderick said that we would wake up on ‘true Gaia.’ What exactly does that mean?”
“He also said that he’d explain. Let’s go to the temple.”
“Wait a minute,” Azura interrupted. “Do we even know where the temple is?” The two older girls were quiet for a second, and Azura took the chance to respond to her own question. “Because I do. There’s something wrong with that.”
Kaelin nodded, finally understanding what Azura was trying to say. “Right. We weren’t raised in this world, but we have memories from it. At the same time, I remember the old world, or Illusion, as Broderick called it. What the hell is going on around here?”
Once again the voice of reason, Roselyn calmly stepped in. “I have memories from this world, too, but they’re harder to recall. It’s sort of like trying to remember something from years ago. Things just keep coming back to me at random times. The best thing we can do is find Jay and Broderick and then ask them to explain everything. That way, we can get our facts straight.”
“Anything to get rid of this damn headache,” Kaelin muttered. “Lead the way, Azura.”
With a wink and a smile, the young blonde ran off. As Kaelin turned to follow, Roselyn grabbed her arm. “Hey, Kaelin. Do you have any memories of your parents in this world?” Her voice was uneven and somewhat distressed, which was odd coming from Roselyn.
“No. I never felt the need to think about them before and don’t really care much now either. Why?”
“Nothing. I was just wondering,” Roselyn lied.
Kaelin knew that when the need came, Roselyn would tell her the truth, so she just let it go. “Whatever you say.” The tall girl left the room with Roselyn following close behind.
‘Commander Bretta,’ she thought to herself. Something about him ate away at her mind, but she didn’t want to accept it. She thought she would be proud to be the daughter of the Commander of the only force powerful enough to hold back the Cardin, but her mind was telling her otherwise. No matter how hard she tried, there was something about her father that she refused to believe unless she saw it with her very own eyes.